LED street lighting reduces caterpillar development by 47%

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Scientist
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LED street lighting reduces caterpillar development by 47%

Thought some of you might be interested in this study Open source here

Reported declines in insect populations have sparked global concern, with artificial light at night (ALAN) identified as a potential contributing factor. Despite strong evidence that lighting disrupts a range of insect behaviors, the empirical evidence that ALAN diminishes wild insect abundance is limited. Using a matched-pairs design, we found that street lighting strongly reduced moth caterpillar abundance compared with unlit sites (47% reduction in hedgerows and 33% reduction in grass margins) and affected caterpillar development. A separate experiment in habitats with no history of lighting revealed that ALAN disrupted the feeding behavior of nocturnal caterpillars. Negative impacts were more pronounced under white light-emitting diode (LED) street lights compared to conventional yellow sodium lamps. This indicates that ALAN and the ongoing shift toward white LEDs (i.e., narrow- to broad-spectrum lighting) will have substantial consequences for insect populations and ecosystem processes.

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Forsythe P. Jones
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Thanks for posting this. It’s important to be aware.

elendur
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The whole picture of how dependent humans are of our ecosystem is very easy to forget so I won’t try to explain it (because I forgot).

This is another point for warm led street lighting, even if it is less efficient in lm/W than the colder whites.

kat
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Literally every small thing that we invent ends up killing us in one way or another.
I think that if the human species wants to survive longer, it has to go back living like 1000 years ago and stay that way

elendur
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Life was hard back then, still is for most but I can’t imagine much worse… We will survive, but business as usual will change.

RobertB
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kat wrote:
Literally every small thing that we invent ends up killing us in one way or another. I think that if the human species wants to survive longer, it has to go back living like 1000 years ago and stay that way

Wouldn’t that mean exterminating 95% of the population? approx 7.9 billion today, est 350 million in 1020AD

kat
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Probably not 95%, but definitely that way of life could not sustain more than 50% of the current population.
But what’s better, to kill ourselves and all life slowly in the next 50-100 years by sitting on the couch… or live adventurously until the next extinction event that’s not caused by us ? Most likely at least few thousand years more at least

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For me this was quite disappointing. I was hoping that LEDs would be more energy efficient and get us away from those awful Na lamps. At least if we study what is going on we may be able to mitigate some of the effects.

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elendur
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What I take away from this paper is that, as is usual when new very narrow and specific (yet rigourous) reasearch is published, that more reasearch is needed.

Quote:
This is worrying, given the current shifts in outdoor lighting technologies toward white LEDs (21, 34). Yet, LEDs can be modified more easily than sodium lamps by adjusting their intensity (dimming) and spectral output (custom colors and filters) (38, 63, 64), offering the opportunity to minimize the negative impacts on insect populations, and linked ecosystem processes, at marginal costs.
MoreHiCRILumens
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Well this ain’t surprise. Humans have been doing pretty efficient work in the last 300 years by killing and robbing this planet just to gain more and more glass pebbles.
Good thing that Mars is almost as dead as planet can be, but we can probably make it even worse. Go mankind, let’s spread like a cancer! Crown

Did I mention that it’s kinda stupid to light empty streets at night? Get flashlights, save the world.

elendur
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Give every citizen one flashlight, and install light activated switches on lampposts, or put proximity switches on sidewalks that activate lampposts in your vicinity (more practical, but not as fun)

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don’t those sodium lamps have even worse CRI than LEDs?

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everydaysurvivalgear wrote:
don’t those sodium lamps have even worse CRI than LEDs?

way worse. They’re almost monochromatic. Everyone looks so sick when standing under them.

Edit:I had to know

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xevious
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LED’s don’t have to be so intrusive. They need to devise some way to attenuate them, or predefine a few programmatic settings where for the most part they’re only as bright as they need to be.

It would also be smart to have a motion sensor system. Light up only when there’s traffic. When it’s the dead of night, nobody around, reduce to a very low output. This way fewer insects end up negatively affected.

elendur
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Blf lamppost anyone? Wink

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Scientist wrote:
everydaysurvivalgear wrote:
don’t those sodium lamps have even worse CRI than LEDs?

way worse. They’re almost monochromatic. Everyone looks so sick when standing under them.

But they’re way easier to filter out, eg, as far as light-pollution.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

everydaysurvivalgear
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Lightbringer wrote:
Scientist wrote:
everydaysurvivalgear wrote:
don’t those sodium lamps have even worse CRI than LEDs?

way worse. They’re almost monochromatic. Everyone looks so sick when standing under them.

But they’re way easier to filter out, eg, as far as light-pollution.

Is that because the tint is warmer like around 2500k?

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Just “notchier”. Easier to filter out a known spectrum vs “broadband”.

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turkeydance
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thanks.
interesting.